Pro-choice group slams President’s decision to address anti-abortion manifestation

President’s decision to address anti-abortion rally is ‘insult to those who care about civil rights and equality’

President George Vella
President George Vella

The Maltese pro-choice coalition Voice For Choice has lambasted a decision by President George Vella to address an anti-abortion manifestation in February.

The NGO said Vella’s decision to address the ‘Manifestation in Favour of Life’ was “an astounding insult to all those who care about civil rights and equality in our country.”

Vella, a former Labour deputy prime minister and foreign minister, has been committed against abortion well before his appointment as President, and was categorical that he would never sign an abortion law in force as President.

The event, which will take place on 2 February, is being organised by the Malta Unborn Child Platform and will include a mass by Auxiliary Bishop Joe Galea Curmi, followed by a march from the entrance to Valletta to the Co-Cathedral.

“In doing so he [Vella] is sharing a podium with individuals and organisations who have strongly opposed, and still actively oppose, a whole plethora of hard-earned civil rights including the right to divorce, the right to reproductive assistance in the form of IVF, access to contraception, and LGBT rights including equal marriage and adoption rights,” the NGO said.

This isn’t the first time Vella has supported anti-abortion events. Back in October he supported a screening of the anti-abortion movie ‘Unplanned’, a film disputed by multiple pro-choice NGOs, including Doctors for Choice who claimed the movie was riddled with medical untruths.

“‘Unplanned’ is riddled with medical untruths, such as giving the impression that a 13-week old foetus can feel pain, which is contrary to the position of reputable international medical organisations,” the NGO said.

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